The Department of Defense has unveiled its strategy for the “Future Vertical Lift” (FVL) capabilities based assessment.
The goal is to determine the DOD’s needs for vertical lift after 2020, and then craft an acquisition strategy to obtain it.
The options range from the Joint Heavy Lift (JHL), which is an A400M-sized rotorcraft, to the Joint Multi-Role (JMR), which is a replacement for the UH-60 and AH-64. Either one would be the first all-new military helicopter developed in the US since the early 1980s. And they each promise performance breakthroughs in either speed, size or both.
Some could ask why a new rotorcraft of any kind is answer. This briefing suggests the answer is the appalling loss rates of helicopters in Iraq and Afghanistan. Somewhat shockingly, compared to Vietnam, the per sortie loss rates for helicopters are higher in the Global War on Terrorism (click on chart).